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Relay for Life begins at Citicorp

June 12, 2004|By PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN

Cancer survivors and victims were on the minds of about 150 people gathered under umbrellas Friday night at Citicorp for the kickoff of the company's first American Cancer Society-approved Relay for Life, an overnight event celebrating the feats of those with the disease.

Under a gray sky, sidewalks sprawling through a small field of grass wet from the day's rain were sprinkled with people pacing in ponchos, holding umbrellas and eating ice cream. Antietam Dairy and Holsinger's Meat Market donated proceeds from their sales to the cause, said Kim Hatfield, co-chair of the event.

She said as of 7:30 p.m., $13,000 had been raised by the approximately 200 people who registered for the event, which was scheduled to include bands, a morning aerobics session and a pajama beauty contest. Hatfield said most of the children's events - such as sack races and soccer - were canceled because not many children showed up because of the rain.

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Lined up along the soaked sidewalk beside one of Citicorp's main buildings were pop-up tents, screened tents and survivors and friends seeking shelter beneath them.

Dr. Dona Hobart, a general surgeon at Washington County Hospital, told the group gathered around the main white tent of her own survival history: In 2000, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; two years ago, she had a bone marrow transplant and now is fine.

She quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Hobart said that although cancer is bad, "it's events like this that make it good."

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